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Mr. Olympia Frank Zane used the following workout split leading up to his 1977 victory.

Monday – Morning

Legs and Calves

Monday – Afternoon

Shoulders, Biceps, Forearms and Abs

Tuesday – Mornings


Tuesday – Afternoon

Chest, Triceps and Abs

Wednesday – Morning

Legs and Calves.

Thursday – Morning


Thursday – Afternoon

Shoulders, Biceps, Forearms and Abs.

Friday – Morning

Legs and Calves

Friday – Afternoon

Chest, Triceps and Abs

Leg workouts last about 75 minutes and involve high reps.

Frank Zane Squat

Frank Zane’s Autumn Workout Program


Day 1:  Back, biceps, forearms, abs

Day 2: Abs, thighs, calves

Day 3: Chest, shoulders, triceps, abs


Frank Zane’s 4 Day Sequence for Peak Condition” involves training 3 days on, one off.


Autumn Workout Program


Since my goal is reach peak condition in mid Autumn, summer training is the most intensive for the whole year. For muscle growth to thrive, starting in June, I train 3 days out of 5. I like this the best because I get enough rest.


Day 1- Back, biceps, forearms; Day 2 - Thighs, calves; Day 3- rest; Day 4- Chest, shoulders, triceps; Day 5- rest.


I do ab work every day and 12 to 20 minutes of treadmill at the end of each workout. Increasing the weight each set, keeping my reps between 8 and 12 for upper body and thighs, 15 to 25 for calves, and 25 to 50 for abs, stretching 15 seconds between sets, I do 2 sets of each exercise and work my way up to 3 sets as I progress through the summer Resting 2 to 3 minutes between sets my workouts last 75 minutes.


My goal is to keep tension in the muscle I'm working during the entire set, so with back, I don't lock my arms out on the negative-this keeps tension on the lats where it belongs, not on the shoulders.


Day 1: Back, biceps, forearms, abs


Back- front pulldown, cable crossover behind neck, low cable row, shrugs, close grip pulldown (2 arm lat stretch between sets), 1 arm row on machine, cable, or dumbbell (1 arm lat stretch between sets. I get a great pump even in my biceps-

Biceps- one arm dumbbell concentration curl, preacher cable curl, alternate dumbbell curl-keep wrists straight each rep-

Forearms- reverse EZ bar curl, barbell wrist curl, gripper-

Abs - hanging knee up, abdominal crunch, seated twist

"At the end of Day 1 workout do 5 minutes of rowing machine @ 25 strokes/minute"

Focus & do slow negatives


Day 2: Abs, thighs, calves


Abs - incline leg raise, crunches, one arm cable crunch

Thighs - I do 1 leg back stretch for hamstrings and 1 leg up stretch for quads between sets. Hip machine for rear oblique and outer hamstring, Leg extension/leg curl super-set, leg press, erect squat on Leg Blaster- thighs so pumped take 5 minute break .

Calves - Standing calf raise on leg blaster, calf raise on leg press machine, donkey calf raise, seated calf raise-

I do a total of no more than 6 sets on calves. I get the maximum burn on each set so necessary for calf growth by holding each rep for a count of 5 at the top. I walk around and feel my calves swell up and do 15 seconds of calf stretch between each set.

Treadmill at end of workout


Day 3: Chest, shoulders, triceps, abs


Begin workout doing doorway stretch and 1 arm shoulder stretch


Chest- Front Press (I use a Soloflex with weights attached) or you can do 70 degree incline dumbbell press, 30 degree incline dumbbell press (not locking out at the top keeps tension on the pecs), Pec Deck, Dip Machine (doorway stretch between all sets) Pullover machine (1 arm shoulder stretch)

Delts & triceps supersets: 1 arm DB side raise/1 arm DB triceps extension

(one arm shoulder stretch between sets)

Rear delt machine/Pressdown or db kickback

(rear delt stretch between sets) Can use dumbbells whole workout


Abs- knee up chair, crunches, seated twist .

What a tremendous pump with this workout!

Frank Zane seated tricep press

Upgrading to 5-4-5 Day Sequence


The 5 day sequence just described is a great way to build size since it give you 5 days before you do the same workout again-plenty of time to recuperate and grow, allowing you to be strong each workout. When I feel ready, I advance to the 5-4-5 sequence: a 5 day sequence followed by a 4 day sequence followed by a 5 day sequence, then repeat: e.g. Monday - day 1, Tuesday - day 2, Wednesday - rest, Thursday Day 3, Friday - rest, Saturday - day 1, Sunday - day 2, Monday - day 3, Tuesday - rest, Wednesday - day 1, Thursday - day 2, Friday - rest, Saturday - day 3, Sunday - rest. Repeat

"The 5-4-5 sequence allows you to have the same rest day every week & repeats every 2 weeks"

4 Day Sequence for Peak Condition


The 4 day sequence means training 3 days in a row then resting the 4th day, then begin again. In 4 weeks this sequence will repeat itself. So after you train each body-part one time you rest a day, then begin again. I've found that I can only do this kind of 4 day sequencing for about a month before I begin to get over trained. Nevertheless, it's the fastest way to get maximum muscular definition, especially if you train with weights in the morning, then do abs and aerobics in the afternoon. It's pretty tiring and I'm not as strong as on the 5 day sequence, but it adds the finishing touches & allows me to reach my peak. Be sure to get enough rest when peaking.